Thousands expected at rival demonstrations in Chemnitz





Chemnitz, Germany - Thousands of protesters were expected to take part in rival demonstrations on Saturday in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, which has seen repeated violent protests over the past week.



 
Right-wingers are planning to march in silence, while their opponents will a hold counter-demonstration. Police said they were expecting numbers "in the lower five-digit range."
More than 70 associations, political parties, clubs and private individuals have called for a march under the banner "Herz statt Hetze" - Heart not Hostility.
The organizers' stated aim is to ensure that the silent march planned by the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the anti-Muslim Pegida organization does not go unchallenged.
In addition, the right-wing Pro Chemnitz group, which has been at the centre of protests in the city this week, has called its own protest.
The fatal stabbing of a German man in the early hours of Sunday morning, for which an Iraqi and a Syrian man have been arrested, has led to widespread protests in the city.
Speaking on Friday, Susanne Schaper, a member of the Saxony parliament for the hard-left Die Linke party, said the aim of the counter-demonstration was to show that Chemnitz, Saxony's third-largest city, was tolerant.
"We aim to show that there is another Chemnitz as well," Schaper said.
Detlef Mueller, a Social Democrat (SPD) member of the federal parliament, said events had harmed the city's image. "We aim to show that there is an active civil society here," he said.

 


Saturday, September 1st 2018
(dpa)
           


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